Science Fiction Theatre – Marked ‘Danger’ (06/18/55)

There is a modern struggle going on in the desert.  “The covered wagons have been replaced by the Jeeps and trailers of Uranium prospectors and mining engineers.”  Fred Strand is one of the new pioneers.  His wife Lois asks how he can stand the horrible incessant sunshine.  She must really hate it as she is wearing her sunglasses indoors.

While Fred is out breaking rocks, he spots a yellow parachute on the ground.  It is attached to a box which says it is property of Indian Flats Rocket Proving Grounds.  There is a $250 reward for its return because it is “scientific equipment of the highest value technical value.”  Well if it’s worth more the $250, so-long sucker!

Fred opens the box and finds two white lab rats in a glass container with a valve on it. He says — to the mice — that he will give up his hunt for tungsten today.  Which explains why he is not a more successful uranium prospector.

Not to nitpick, but it is NOT marked ‘danger’

Fred takes the mice back to the trailer and shows them to Lois. He tells her they can use the reward — $2,200 in 2016 dollars — for their Vegas vacation.  His pal Moe Green said 1955 would be the best year ever! [1]  Lois is worried about the mice being cooped up and wants to give them some cheese.  Fred says, “Unh-unh.  The instructions said ‘No Tampering'”.  After noting a green tinge to the mice, he heads over to the sheriff’s office to use the nearest phone.

Fred’s muffler is barely out of earshot when Lois turns the valve on the container causing to a gas to shoot out.  “Darn it.  Why did I do that?” she asks the screenwriter. He replies in her next line, “Never tell a woman not to do something if you don’t want it done.”

Fred and the sheriff return to the trailer in his truck, although I wonder how the sheriff plans on getting back home.  They find Lois asleep.  Fred shows the container to the sheriff, but the mice are gone.  Uh-oh, did someone tell Lois not to eat them?  All that is left is a green stain on the bottom; or maybe it’s relish.

A couple of doctors from Indian Flats show up in a hideous black car. [2] They are not too happy that the mice are gone.  They ask to speak to Lois, but she has apparently gone for a walk.  Fred says that is unlikely because she hates the sun.  They step outside and spot her walking in sunshine [3] about 100 yards away.

They run after her.  Despite their calls, she just keeps walking.  When they catch her, Fred asks her what is wrong.  She cries, “The sun, the sun!”  One of the doctors notices a greenish tinge in her eyes.  They rush her to the hospital.

Lois is taken to Indian Flats for “medical research”.  The green residue in the container is also analyzed.  They identify it as chloroplasm which seems to be the same as chlorophyll.  One of the doctors says, “This is against every scientific principal we know. Chloroplasm is plant life.  It just doesn’t grow in animals.”  They suspect this is the reason for the greenish tinge of the mice and the greenish tinge in Lois’s eyes.  They believe it explains her “plant-like craving for the sun.”  They even find green cells in her blood.  They go to see Lois in the hospital.

Lois:  “I did something I shouldn’t have done.  I’m so ashamed.  I just couldn’t fight  my curiosity.”

Doctor:  “Yes, I know.  I’m a married man.

She describes turning the valve, and the gas escaping.  Lois is turning into a plant and she is given 15 days to live.  She briefly escapes, but Fred carries her back inside.  The doctor says this jaunt outside might have cut her life expectancy in half because plants thrive in the sun, which sounds like exactly the opposite of the effect her escape should have had.

They somehow deduce that they should give her a glucose IV which puts her into a diabetic coma.  Amazingly, this works.  She wakes up and that is it.  She does, however, demand that Fred become a vegan; and not just for Christmas and her birthday.

Another lackluster episode.  To be charitable, I did like that they had some actual scenes outdoors.  It might have really been in back of the commissary, but it looked like they were out running in the desert.

This series defies rating.  $29.95 for that third Tales of Tomorrow disc is sounding more and more reasonable.


  • [1] Moe Green was killed by the Corleone family in 1955 with a bullet through the glasses.
  • [2] Seriously, this beast was ugly.  Black, with no wheel wells for any of the tires.
  • [3] Weird, the Walking on Sunshine video was filmed on a very dreary day.

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